Tactical Telehaptic Communication (HAPTAC)

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Amount:
$750,000.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
W31P4Q-10-C-0237
Award Id:
91753
Agency Tracking Number:
08SB2-0487
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
DARPA 08-025
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
200 Boston Avenue Suite 1000, Medford, MA, 02155
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
786127522
Principal Investigator:
Marthinus Schoor
CEO / CTO
(781) 306-0609
tienie@mide.com
Business Contact:
David Gilbert
President
(781) 306-0609
dgilbert@mide.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
Communication between soldiers on the battlefield is currently limited to voice and hand signaling. However, the realities of combat, including loud noises and visual obstructions, degrade these communications modalities. The U.S. Department of Defense is interested in the use of tactile human interfaces as a supplemental communications channel between soldiers. A field-deployed haptic communicator would consist of a body-worn tactile array capable of wirelessly exchanging information between soldiers via the skin. Mide Technology Corporation has completed a 6-month Phase I effort resulting in a positive feasibility assessment for a haptic communicator that employs piezoelectric actuators. A complete system prototype consisting of a 12-element tactile array and electronic driver unit was successfully demonstrated. Prototype performance as a direct-touch device was evaluated through formal testing on human subjects, while its efficacy as a vibro-tactile device was demonstrated qualitatively in the laboratory. The array is sufficiently thin for integration into clothing, the electronic hardware is small and battery-powered, and the system is of reasonable cost. Mide intends to carry out a Phase II research and development effort that will improve the current state of piezo-tactile technology and test performance of advanced prototypes through human testing in a simulated operational environment.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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